Looking ahead to Tourism 2025 and beyond
In 2020, New Zealand’s tourism industry is facing new domestic and global influences. Each of these need to be factored into industry thinking and actions.
Managing tourism growth
Globally, the growth of tourism is seeing increasing protests from residents of popular international holiday hot-spots who fear that ‘over-tourism’ is harming their lifestyle and environment. While New Zealand has a relatively low visitor density, tourism activity at certain places and times is stimulating a negative community response.
To ensure New Zealanders continue to offer manaakitanga to our visitors, it is essential that tourism is managed to reduce and mitigate the impacts. The industry’s social licence to operate is an intangible, but very real asset that must be measured and managed.
Strategies to develop and implement include:
- demonstrating that tourism is generating benefits for communities through quality jobs, business opportunities and better services and amenities
- ensuring there is investment in infrastructure to support growth
- ensuring the workforce to support tourism growth is available
- the destination is actively managed to reduce or mitigate negative impacts.
Changing views on managing resources in Aotearoa
Māori values are becoming more mainstream within New Zealand society, as are iwi-owned operators within the industry.
The more the Māori view of the world permeates our thinking, the more society’s attitudes to our mountains, lands, forests, rivers and seas will change. This represents a significant shift away from seeing natural resources as something to be exploited, to that of kaitiakitanga, where we all have a duty to care for the natural world around us. The tourism industry can do more to put these values into practice.
"This document reflects an important step towards the wider use of Te Ao Māori values and Tikanga across our industry. Through this we are all strengthened."
Kauahi Ngapora, General Manager, Whale Watch Kaikōura
Acting on carbon and climate change
There is increasing recognition that urgent action is required globally to reduce carbon emissions, and to mitigate and adapt to a wide range of expected outcomes – such as extreme weather events, rising sea levels and rising snow levels. It is likely that consumers will be increasingly influenced in their choices by climate change concerns.
International aviation is a carbon-intensive activity so there is a risk that consumers may act to reduce their carbon footprint by cutting back on travel. If this occurs, New Zealand is more exposed than virtually any other destination. This means that New Zealand needs to be able to demonstrate that we are a leader in reducing our reliance on carbon across the tourism system, and also in measuring, managing and reducing our overall environmental footprint.